Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!
1. No, no luck finding lovey-dovey ethics stories...except that my wonderful wife Grace and I will have been married for 39 years come November, and I love her more today than the day we wed. Good job, Cupid!
2. The misinformation of polls. Three polls today illustrate how polling is used for advocacy and propaganda, rather than enlightenment. They are often the opposite of enlightenment.
Poll I: Public approval of Supreme Court Justices.
What this poll really tells us is a) that the news media’s bias powerfully molds public opinion and b) the public is always willing to give an opinion about matters they know nothing about. To even begin to be valuable, the polls should have qualified its respondents by asking, “How many judicial opinions by each justice have you read?” My guess would be that less than 1% of Americans have read a single Supreme Court opinion from members of the current court in their entire lives. The polls says that the public most approves of Justices Ginsberg, Sotomayor, and Chief Justice Roberts. This is based on what, exactly? The public approves or disapproves of what? Clearly it is nothing substantive or based on actual knowledge.. What, then, is the value of such a poll? [Source: Crooked Media]
Poll II: Post Parkland gun control. From NPR:
“In the immediate aftermath of the mass shooting that killed 17 people on Valentine’s Day, 71 percent of Americans said laws covering the sale of firearms should be stricter. Now, it’s 51 percent. When it comes to whether stricter gun legislation should be an immediate priority for Congress, 42 percent say it should be. In April 2018, it was 10 points higher.”
In other words, in the wake of the Parkland shooting when the airwaves, cables and o- ed pages were screaming with “We’ve got to do something!” stories and Parkland kid lecturing about the evils of the Second Amendment, a large segment of the population reacted emotionally and stated an opinion that it really hadn’t thought about sufficiently or wasn’t committed to. Such polls are used to justify legislation and are cited as authority by activists.
Poll III: “Medicare for All” :
In other words, a lot of people expressed approval of a policy they didn’t understand, knew nothing about, and couldn’t register an informed opinion on, but they announced their approval anyway. Who cares what such people think, or perhaps “think” is the better way to put it? They are flipping coins; they are the confused and gullible ignoramuses who pollute democracy.
Poll IV: Socialism vs Capitalism. This Fox News poll maybe the worst of the bunch:
How many respondents could accurately define either socialism or capitalism? Do they like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare, the minimum wage, food stamps, and the progressive income tax? If so, they have a favorable opinion of socialism, at least within limits. Unrestrained capitalism is a ruthless and brutal system, but it rewards risk taking, innovation, talent and industry, and creates wealth better than any system yet devised. Unrestrained socialism destroys economies and the human spirit, but it has the benefit of seeming superficially compassionate. The United States has a hybrid system that fully embraces neither capitalism nor socialism. The poll is useless.
Then we have the polls telling us that Joe Biden is the overwhelming front-runner for the Democratic nomination for President. If there is one thing you can bet the ranch on, it is that the group identification-obsessed, youth-dominated, #MeToo crazy, anti-male, anti-white Democratic Party will not nominate a 70+ year-old white guy with a dozen pictures of him groping woman and young girls circulating on the web to run against Donald Trump. There is no chance of this happening. Zero. These polls tell us that the average Democrat, like the average citizen, pays much less attention to politics than their elite, educated, engaged neighbors think. That’s all.
3. “Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias!” For months, conservative pundits have been pointing out the increasing use of the “Republicans pounce” device by the mainstream media, in which a legitimately troubling statement or action by a Democrat is framed, not by the words or conduct, but by opposition response to it, colored by the use of “pounce” to suggest violence, eager exploitation, and extremism. It’s signature significance for bad journalism. The device shifts focus away from the subject to the reaction to it; its a diversion, and misleading. Sometimes the word “pounce” is omitted, as in the Washington Post’s recent headline, “Republicans seize on liberal positions to paint Democrats as radical.” Amusingly, it was picked up by an affiliate and re-titled, “As Democrats talk liberal positions, GOP pounces.”
The “liberal positions” the mean Republicans pounced on include supporting people who don’t want to work, and eliminating airplanes and cows. I fidn it incredible that even after this transparently biased trick has been thoroughly exposed, it is still being employed. I opened my New York Times Monday and saw this:
Ocasio-Cortez Team Flubs a Green New Deal Summary, and Republicans Pounce
4. Today’s Justin Fairfax scandal note. An article in the New York Times today reinforced my belief that Fairfax is tearing his party apart by refusing to resign as Virginia Lt. Governor. On the plus side for anyone who has been driven to the brink of madness by progressive double talk, double standards and hypocrisy regarding race, gender and sexual assault, the ethically-obtuse debate over Fairfax is certainly making it obvious for anyone willing to be objective. Here are some quotes from the piece:
- To Constance Cordovilla, the president of the Virginia National Organization for Women, the two sexual assault allegations against Lt. Gov. Justin E. Fairfax are not just grounds for him to resign — the detailed claims also demand that women side with his accusers. “It would set back survivors if we don’t because the message to them would be, ‘Here’s another case where they’re not believed,’” said Ms. Cordovilla, a longtime labor and women’s rights advocate, drawing a bright line between the charges against Mr. Fairfax and the Virginia governor and attorney general who admitted they once donned blackface. “This is a criminal charge, it’s not like saying I had a picture in my yearbook 40 years ago.”
Yes, and criminal accusations especially require the presumption of innocence. Accusers should bot be believed because of their gender or disbelieved. Cordovilla’s statement is pure gender bigotry.
- And in a sign that House Democrats are uneasy about forcing their members, who include 16 African-Americans, to take a firm position about whether to believe the two accusers, the talking points included a proposed answer sidestepping the question.
The allegations “against our Lieutenant Governor are credible and extremely serious and it is why my colleagues and I have called for him to step down,” the talking points said. “It took great courage for both women to share their stories. As Democrats, and as Virginians, we must continue to stand up and speak out against sexual assault.”
This is Kavanaugh-speak. False accusations are often “credible.” The word means they can be believed, not that they are true. What does “serious” have to do with anything? If the allegations are not true, it doesn’t matter if they are serious, and the fact that the allegations are serious doesn’t make it any more likely that they are true. Similarly, whether making the accusations took courage or not should have no influence over whether the accusations are believed. Making a false accusation really takes courage: the consequences of being exposed as a liar are dire. How does requiring evidence to be persuasive in any accusation against a public figure undercut opposition to sexual assault?
The talking points are incompetent and misleading.
- Yet Courtney A. Hill, an Arlington-based political strategist who works with and tries to help elect black candidates in Virginia, argued that the focus on the allegations against Mr. Fairfax had been stirred by people who did not want to see another black governor in the state.
“We had Northam and Herring in blackface and standing next to K.K.K. members and now the conversation has shifted to Justin and Justin entirely, and Ralph is going on his apology tour,” Ms. Hill said. “I think race is helping shift that conversation. It doesn’t sit right with me, and it doesn’t make sense to a lot of people who look like me.”
Ugh. This is pure Obama-style race-baiting. Does Hill really expect anyone to believe that a white Virginia official accused of rape by tow women would not be facing the same degree of criticism as Fairfax, if not worse? If anything, his race has protected Fairfax. Nobody “had” Northam and Herring in blackface: one was in blackface 35 years ago and the other volunteered the fact that he had blacked his face in high school. Neither stood next to “KKK members.”
The longer Fairfax stays in office, the more opportunities will arise for Democrats, women and African-Americans to sound dishonest, biased, hypocritical and foolish.